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Can I Use Powered monitors with a home theater receiver? Studio Monitors
Old 5th April 2013
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Can I Use Powered monitors with a home theater receiver?

I've got a pair of Yamaha HS50's that are powered speakers and I want to use them for my TV thru a regular home theater receiver, but it does not have a pre-out RCA connection. It just has speaker wire outs.

What would happen if I just solder an XLR to the end of a speaker wire and plug it into the Yamahas? Would it damage anything? I feel like it should work, but might have some gain structure weirdness. There's a dial on the back of the Yamaha's that's -10/+4. Could I just plug them in and turn that dial and be good?
Old 5th April 2013
  #2
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Speaker level outputs are generally way hotter than any line level signal. At best you might get a distorted output, at worst you could damage the input stages of your speakers or the output stage of the amp/receiver (depending on how things are driven and grounded at the amp end).

You can still do it, but it will probably be safest to put some kind of suitable attenuator or voltage divider circuit (or something) in the signal path.
Old 5th April 2013
  #3
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Xander's Avatar
Double post.
Old 5th April 2013
  #4
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Xander's Avatar
Do not wire it directly. You will have a severe gain structure issue.

Here is a budget adapter:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B000P0UE38

Most of the other ones you will find require 12 VDC, because they are designed for automotive use. Just google "line output converter." But you could use them with any 12V AC-DC adapter with enough current capacity.
Old 5th April 2013
  #5
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erosconpollo's Avatar
Does the receiver have a headphone out? It would be much safer to wire the speakers to that.
Old 5th April 2013
  #6
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BurnStudios's Avatar
 

LOL!!!! DONT DO IT! And skip the speaker to line level thingy, those are crap at best... Use the headphone out as suggested.. You can get adapters to go from 1/4 stereo to rca and or xlr..
Old 5th April 2013
  #7
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Stuart Coleco's Avatar
Most home theatre receivers have separate 5.1 pre amp outputs. Generally they are the RCA connector type. If not. Then there's probably some sort of tape or vcr loop out that sends the signal out, as stereo, to be recorded. Use those and always have the tape monitor on...or however your receiver is set up.. Not much different than a mixer.
Old 5th April 2013
  #8
Gear Head
 

if you really want to do that,
headphone out is your only option. The tape out option will work too, but tape loops send fixed levels, so they don't change in level with the volume control. In that case, you'll essentially have a big heavy input selector.

Headphone out will work, also tone adjustments and DSP settings might be in the signal here too, but watch out with the impedances. There are better options.

why are you using the receiver? If it's just for stereo use, and only a couple of input sources, why not build a (cheap) input selector and volume control?
if you want the benefit of the DSP settings, multichannel operation, or any other reason you prefer a home theater receiver: buy one with pre outs.

regards,
Bert.
Old 7th April 2013
  #9
Gear Maniac
 

Wow, thanks for all the replies!

This is the receiver, no pre-outs.
SONY STRDH520 Receiver - Newegg.com



Hooked up these monitors to them:
Yamaha HS50M Active Studio Monitor, 70 Watts, 1x5" at zZounds

I thought I could go RCA out from the 'Audio Out' on the video section, but when I tried that we had no control of the volume. Looks like that is just a thru port for the video RCAs.

So I got frustrated that I didn't have the right wires so I cut up a mic cable, soldered some XLRs to them and tinned the bare wire to hook up thru the regular speaker outs. The Yamaha's have a pretty wide ranged attenuation so I just turned it down until the gain structure seemed okay.

It sounds great. Quiet noise floor, too, no humming or anything.
Old 8th April 2013
  #10
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BurnStudios's Avatar
 

LOL! Tell me you're not really running from the powered speaker output from that rec.. into the inputs of your monitors.... For one, there is no load on your rec now, and chances are you will fry it. And running a high level powered signal into something that is made for a low level signal is a recipe for disaster..

Go to radio shack and get a 1/4 to dual rca cable! and use the headphone output.. WOW
Old 8th April 2013
  #11
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Xander's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by BurnStudios View Post
For one, there is no load on your rec now, and chances are you will fry it. And running a high level powered signal into something that is made for a low level signal is a recipe for disaster..

Go to radio shack and get a 1/4 to dual rca cable! and use the headphone output.. WOW
Actually, the input impedance if the HS80's line input is probably in the range of 10k-20k ohms. So there is certainly a load on those receiver speaker outputs.

With that being said, I would certainly agree with using the headphone output as a much better option. Yikes.
Old 8th April 2013
  #12
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Arksun's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by AASteveo View Post
So I got frustrated that I didn't have the right wires so I cut up a mic cable, soldered some XLRs to them and tinned the bare wire to hook up thru the regular speaker outs. The Yamaha's have a pretty wide ranged attenuation so I just turned it down until the gain structure seemed okay.

It sounds great. Quiet noise floor, too, no humming or anything.
This is a sure fire way to damage your monitors in some way, even if you don't notice any damage yet in the short term, plugging an active monitor into an already power amplified signal is a really really bad idea.
Old 8th April 2013
  #13
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BurnStudios's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xander View Post
Actually, the input impedance if the HS80's line input is probably in the range of 10k-20k ohms. So there is certainly a load on those receiver speaker outputs.

With that being said, I would certainly agree with using the headphone output as a much better option. Yikes.


10 - 20k ohms on amp meant for 4 or 8 ohms? LOL
Old 9th April 2013
  #14
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Xander's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by BurnStudios View Post
10 - 20k ohms on amp meant for 4 or 8 ohms? LOL
Sorry, but I fail to understanding why this is "LOL" material.

Putting an unusually high load on a solid state amp will not harm it. This is because of the basic law V=I*R. And because these amplifiers are voltage amplifiers, so they maintain relatively constant voltage with varying resistance. So if the load resistance is extremely high, the current drawn is actually extremely low. No harm there to either the amp or the input circuit.

The issue is the high voltage output of the receiver. Damage could be caused to components not made to withstand the high voltages.
Old 16th October 2013
  #15
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Hi all. I've been searching for similar answer to my home theater setup. The OPs problem is so similar to mine I thought I would just post here.

I have the reverse problem. I have the same STR-DH520 receiver, but want to use powered KRK Rokit 5 (1st gen) speakers. The speakers only have RCA and 1/4" cable inputs. I've read that I could use a line out converter, but it's mostly mentioned in the reverse context, where the receiver has RCA inputs, and the speaker has wired out whereas I want to go from my receivers wired OUTPUT, to my speakers RCA INPUT.

Will it work in the direction I described?

Also, would I need 1 or 2 of those line out converters?

Thanks!

Last edited by zeypher; 16th October 2013 at 12:38 AM.. Reason: Added a question
Old 16th October 2013
  #16
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Xander's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by zeypher View Post
Hi all. I've been searching for similar answer to my home theater setup. The OPs problem is so similar to mine I thought I would just post here.

I have the reverse problem. I have the same STR-DH520 receiver, but want to use powered KRK Rokit 5 (1st gen) speakers. The speakers only have RCA and 1/4" cable inputs. I've read that I could use a line out converter, but it's mostly mentioned in the reverse context, where the receiver has RCA inputs, and the speaker has wired out whereas I want to go from my receivers wired OUTPUT, to my speakers RCA INPUT.

Will it work in the direction I described?

Also, would I need 1 or 2 of those line out converters?

Thanks!
I don't see how this is "reverse context".

What do you mean by "and the speaker has wired out"?

Seems to me that you are in the exact same situation.

By the time you buy enough line converters (you would need 3 for your 5 channels), you might as well just buy a different receiver with RCA outputs. Keep it simple. Sell your current receiver and get one with RCA outputs.
Old 16th October 2013
  #17
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chicitybeats's Avatar
 

If you can get a separate da converter (dont have to be nothing like apogee or lynx) and run the digital out into the converter and the line outs into your speakers

Sent from my SGH-T989
Old 16th October 2013
  #18
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Thanks for the replies. I'll try to clarify.

I did sound a bit confusing/confused. I'm pretty new to home theaters, and audio equipment in general so I could be getting my terminology all mixed up.

To put it simply my receiver (same as OP in this post) only outputs through speaker wires (black and red pegs for raw wires). And my KRK Rokit 5's only take RCA input.

My main question is will this line out converter help me use the speakers with this receiver.

My second question is, if yes, do I need 1 or 2?

If not, then are there any alternatives?

Here's a picture of the back:



You'll see RCA audio outs, but those can't be assigned to the HDMI inputs, unfortunately.

chicitybeats, if I understand correctly, I could use your method if I had digital out, but I don't see it anywhere.

Thanks for taking the time to help me out, I really am a bit lost as you can see.
Old 19th October 2013
  #19
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chicitybeats's Avatar
 

On the far left you have digital toslink inputs

Sent from my SGH-T989
Old 19th October 2013
  #20
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FFTT's Avatar
 

I watch movies on my computer and run the sound through my interface out to my Yamaha MSP7s all the time, but that's not hooked into a separate receiver.

You'd have to either play your DVD's on your computer or stream the content through
your computer to do what I'm doing.
Old 19th October 2013
  #21
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jimbridgman's Avatar
In the video section on that reciever there is a pair of audio outs that are rca. These should be pre-amp level or most likely -10db. These should be what you use to connect the powered monitors to. Any rca to rca cable should work, if the Yamaha's have rca, otherwise get a pair of rca to xlr cables/connectors.

Jim
Old 19th October 2013
  #22
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FFTT's Avatar
 

Regardless of how you hook up your near fields, always remember to turn the volume way down before you load the DVD.

The volume is so pumped on most of them today, you can take out a driver if you're not on top of it.
Old 27th July 2016
  #23
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Hey guys, I'd like to know if I used a M-Audio Firewire 1814 audio interface as the bridge between my Yamaha HS80s and the RCA outs on my Sony Receiver, would I be able to get the right/safe signal to my monitors? Please let me know your thoughts. Thanks.
Old 15th April 2019
  #24
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Just wanted to contribute a bit to this thread. After reading this, I swapped my diy floorstanders for my home studio's PreSonus Eris E5. Connected them to my Onkyo NR-5008's preouts. Sound is much much improved now it's not even funny.

My towers may be to blame here, but an interesting finding is that Audyssey XT32 makes almost no correction. I did a lot of tests comparing Pure Audio mode (no eq or bass management) vs Stereo Mode with audyssey on (no dynamic EQ or volume, fronts set to full range for the sake of fair comparison with subwoofer out of the play). There is almost no correction at all, meaning that my speakers, in my room, have an almost flat (by audyssey's standards, of course) curve. Meaning that they have awesome quality for the price, probably surpassing that of much expensive speakers. At least regarding to flat playback capability!

I'm keeping them there!
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